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Eh, Canada

Apparently something like 250,000 people became sudden curling fans, er, Canadians on April 17. Don’t believe me? Just check out this article in the Missoulian.

The idea is that if you, or one of your parents was born in Canada, you are now a Canadian citizen. I think this means you have a whole different relationship with Canadian bacon (you’ve never heard of it). You get to have a really pretty National Anthem and you’re suddenly able to follow a hockey puck when it’s flying around a rink. (I mean seriously, that thing is really small).

This reminds me of a weird story that happened in my family. My grandfather had a serious case of wanderlust. As a result, he picked up and moved my grandmother and the kids several times. My father was born in Bellingham, Washington and his older sister, my aunt Bea, grew up believing that she had been born there as well. She had no problem registering to vote when she was twenty-one and continued to do so for forty years. Until, she retired and prepared to take a trip to Norway, the place her mother was born. In order to get a passport, Bea had to get her birth certificate and that is when she found that she was in fact, born in Canada.

Since her father was born in Canada and her mother in Norway–be was Canadian. She might even be Norwegian, but she was definitely not a U.S. citizen. That story has a happy ending. Bea was able to get her U.S. citizenship in an expedited fashion. Strangely, had she been born between 1947 and 1977 Bea and her father would have lost their Canadian citizenship. During those years, if you moved out of Canada you had to renounce your citizenship. The new law creating all the new Canadians is a response to those thirty years of taking away citizenship.

Of course by 1947 my aunt had graduated from Hawley High School, married, had kids and settled in California. She had been voting like a responsible U.S. citizen for nearly a decade. Imagine that it in the days of the Homeland Security Act.

I do love that the Canadian government has a sense of humor (humour) about itself.

To all you new Canadian citizens–congratulations! You may need an extra “u” or two for your spelling from now on, eh. Enjoy!

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